Medliorate

Improving medical students

Forum Filter: Simple Strategy for Anatomy

Posted by medliorator on October 15, 2008

whispered_roar:

I always thought of things in two ways when learning about anatomy. They are basically opposites of one another, but I think it’s really important to be able to do both.

1. If I see something, I want to be able to identify it – i.e. know the name, understand the general function, etc. (Turn pictures into words)

2. If I read something, I want to be able to picture it, understand where it lies in relation to other structures, and sketch it out a little bit in very rough detail. (Turn words into pictures)

I think for the first skill, it’s fairly straightforward. Just look at a lot of pictures and practice naming things.

The second skill takes a bit more work. I think the best way is to just grab a pencil and some sheets of paper and sketch things out a bit after you’ve been studying for a while. It doesn’t have to look nice, what matters are the relationships between things. It’s a nice break from staring at a book and, after a few goes, you’ll have all sorts of lovely art for your fridge.

The last thing I can suggest is to always keep function in mind. I think it’s easy to get bogged down with insertions, attachments, innervation, etc, but if you are able to step back from all of that stuff and just ask yourself “what is this thing supposed to be doing?” a lot of it will just make sense and feel a lot less like memorization. I was an engineer as an undergrad, so I always found myself thinking back to physics when looking at muscles and how they operated. The body is a remarkable thing, and learning about it all should be a really fun experience. Make sure you enjoy it.

Anatomy study tips [LiveJournal]

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